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Switch controller for SCXI 1128

I'm trying to use some NI hardware and software for a research project. I believe I have everything I need, except for a switch controller. If I'm right there's no way I can control my switch by computer if I don't have a compatible controller hooked up to my PC. My budget is zero dollars and cents, so I have to work with what I have here in the lab. Somebody here has used these NI things before but left no detail as to where to find the controller, or if they even used a controller. I'm using an SCXI 1357 kit with no USB connectivity, so again options are limited. Is there any way I can rig another type of controller or board to do what the controllers for SCXI 1128 do? Or am I gonna be forced to find funding to get new products? Thanks

 

holoman0888 

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There are a number of ways that you can control the SCXI chassis but all of them will require some type of product to do the controlling.  I don't know what you have in your lab but there are other options.  Besides the USB-1357, you can use many multifunction data acquisition boards or the USB-1600.  You might want to see if you can find an MIO board...that's what I would expect to be mostly likely to find laying around in a lab.

 

 

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Forgot to also mention that you can use most of NI's DMMs as well.  The 4060 and 4070/4071/4072 devices can operate as SCXI controllers.  These are what are normally connected to the 1357.
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I was able to find a PCI-GPIB board lying around here. It's ancient to say the least, it's copyrighted 1991. I was thinking about hot-wiring the GPIB to a SH9MD-AUX cable, like just matching up the pins that actually transmit data. Do you think that has any chance of working?
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Hi holoman0888,

 

The PCI-GPIB board was not made to control an SCXI chassis.  Proceeding in this direction requires you to create an SCXI controller out of the PCI-GPIB board (or whatever hardware is hot-wired to the SH9MD-AUX cable).  It might be theoretically possible to do this, but you would need details about the SCXI communication protocol and the time to create the digital interface between the GPIB board and the SCXI chassis/modules.  This is not a trivial task, and I think that your time may be better spent elsewhere.

 

It would be great if you could find the missing hardware.  However, if it's gone for good, then a new SCXI controller (such as the USB-1359) may be your best alternative.

 

Hope this helps!

 

Chad Erickson
Switch Product Support Engineer

NI - USA

Message Edited by Chad PSE on 07-08-2009 12:45 PM
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Chad,

 

Thanks for the reply. I was able to find an old switch controller after all. It has PCI 4060 marked on it, but again it's an old model (1999). It looks nothing like the current 4060 on your website.  As of now I'm downloading NI-SWITCH to get started. All I really need to do with all this stuff is make a voltage source switch on and off at certain time intervals. Am I on the right track? What else do/would I need? Thanks

 

holoman0888

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So appearantly the board is marked incorrectly, once i installed it on my PC it asked me if i wanted to look for the documentation for a NI 4021, not 4060 like i had thought. And i found some documentation around here as well and installed it. Sorry for the constant changes, but they kind of threw me into the woods blindfolded over here. So i think all the software is intalled now, as well as the hardware. Now comes the fun part, how to actually use everything. Any help is greatly appreciated. Thanks again

 

holoman0888

 

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Hi holoman0888,

 

Now that you've installed the software, you have two informative documentation resources available to you: the NI Switches Getting Started Guide and the NI Switches Help.  These documents can be found by selecting:

 

Start>>Programs>>National Instruments>>NI-SWITCH>>Documentation>>NI Switches Getting Started Guide

Start>>Programs>>National Instruments>>NI-SWITCH>>Documentation>>NI Switches Help

 

The NI Switches Getting Started Guide is an excellent resource for installation procedures and for initially configuring the switch module in MAX. 

The NI Switches Help provides documentation that explains how to actually use everything.

 

Open the NI Switches Help. 

On the Contents tab, expand the following books for specific information on your devices: NI Switches Help>>Devices

 

The Switch Soft Front Panel is interactive software that will enable you to control your switch (without programming).

Start>>Programs>>National Instruments>>NI-SWITCH>>NI-SWITCH Soft Front Panel

 

If you are interested in programming your switch devices in LabVIEW or another ADE, then I recommend navigating to the example programs that were  installed by the NI-Switch driver.

Start>>Programs>>National Instruments>>NI-SWITCH>>Examples

 

You can also find LabVIEW example programs using the LabVIEW Example Finder. 

 

Open LabVIEW.  Select: Help>>Find Examples.

 

Hope this helps!


Chad Erickson

Switch Product Support Engineer

NI - USA

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Hi holoman0888,

 

In response to: All I really need to do with all this stuff is make a voltage source switch on and off at certain time intervals. Am I on the right track? What else do/would I need?

 

You are on the right track. Smiley Happy

 

I cannot answer what else you may need without knowing what your timing requirements are.  For example, if they're not too critical, then you can simply use a while loop in your code to monitor how much time has elapsed, and a case structure to determine if the required amount of time has passed.  If the required amount of time has not passed, continue to loop.  If it has, then make a connection.  Proceed with doing the same for the disconnection.

 

If you have LabVIEW, then I recommend looking at one of the following examples.    

 

niSwitch Controlling an Individual Relay.vi
niSwitch Making Connections on a Switch.vi

 

Both of the examples show how to make a switch connection.  Of course, you would still need to implement the rest of the code. 

 

Good luck!

 

Chad Erickson

Switch Product Support Engineer

NI - USA

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Chad,

 

First of all thanks for all the help. I've been trying to figure out how to wire everything up ( LC plate, voltage source, and NI switch), and so far this is what i've come up with:

 

1) The positive terminal of my 140V DC source is connected to the positive terminal of my LC plate.

2) The negative terminal of the 140V DC source is connected to the negative screw terminal in channel 3 of the NI terminal block

3) The positive screw terminal of channel 3 in the NI terminal block is hooked up to the negative terminal of the LC plate.

 

I think i'm right so far. What it all boils down to is that the LC plate has two modes: light scattering and transparent. I need the switch to provide me with 1ms pulses of light scattering state, is it possible to achieve this by simply using NI-SWITCH soft front panel? Or is LabView or something similar needed? Oh, also, do I need to hook up the OUT+- of the terminal block to something in my circuit? Or is my current setup correct? Thanks again for all the help

 

holoman0888

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